As a new year begins most of us hope for better things to come. The last year was considered by many to have been particularly vicious in an inanimate sort of way. I do believe there is always something to celebrate if you look hard enough; and for those working the field of child to parent violence there has been, within the UK at least, an encouraging interest in training, and a period of consideration of what I have termed nuance – understanding that not all experiences of child to parent violence and abuse will be the same, with a corresponding need for varied responses.
But there have also been personal setbacks for some, with a fear that no one understands their situation. It may have been an unanswered plea for help; or they may have been at the sharp end of an investigation with false allegations made by a child against them. It is right that procedures then roll into action – allegations must be taken seriously, but this should involve a thorough and proper investigation of what has supposedly taken place. Sadly, for one mother in Tennessee, events took a rather different turn, as reported here. Whether out of prejudice, misogyny, or sheer ignorance, is not clear at this stage, but, thankfully for her, her lawyer has supported her all the way and is now calling for a review of procedures in this instance, and in general. The lawyer’s letter follows:
The case is a stark reminder of how far we all still have to go. But we can be glad that there are those willing to take up the baton, to raise understanding and to work for change.
Wishing you a happier new year in 2017!
Who’s in Charge? is a nine week programme developed specifically to support parents who are experiencing violence and abuse from their children. Originally designed in Australia by Eddie Gallagher, Who’s in Charge? has more recently become the go-to programme in parts of south-east England – a testament to the recognition and success of a training team based at Awareness Matters in Suffolk. Just this month, the Who’s in Charge? programme has been awarded the CANparent quality mark: a recognition of the effectiveness, professionalism and standards of governance displayed and evidenced.
Cathy Press and Carole Williams have offered the Facilitators training now for several years and have worked with professionals across domestic violence agencies, youth offending and children services; as well as the independent sector. In this short video, a number of practitioners talk about their experience of child to parent violence, and the impact this programme has had on the families they work with on a day to day basis.
Who’s in Charge? from Offshoot Films on Vimeo.
If you would like to know more about the programme, or about the facilitator training courses available, see the Awareness Matters website where you will find further information and contact details.
It’s always good to see new books published in this field, and so I was pleased to take a look at this “self-guided course for parents of angry, aggressive adolescents or teens” from Elaine Morgan and Laurie Reid. Published by Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Breaking the Cycle of Child-to-Parent Violence and Abuse is available direct from the authors or from Amazon.
A parent campaigning for recognition of child to parent violence and abuse within the legal system in the state of Florida, recently posted this video on youtube.
I am told that the animation was made with the full knowledge of the young person concerned, and that her mother, Heather, is keen that as many people view it and hear her story as possible. She would also like to hear from people who recognise her position and would like to join with her in lobbying the state legislature. Continue reading
Filed under Discussion, Film
I was approached recently by a journalist covering the issue of child to parent violence and abuse in France – where the term “tyrannical child” is being used to describe the issue, for the International Business Times. You can read the article here.
It is always encouraging to hear about new work starting around the world. In France the specialist help that is being developed is located within health services. At the moment the only service is in Montpellier but after an initial trial, using a combination of CBT and NVR techniques and a support group for parents, this to be rolled out across the rest of the country soon.
The research project to map specialist services for families experiencing violence and abuse from their children (Mapping Child to Parent Violence and Abuse Support Services in England and Wales, 2015) came to an end in December 2015. The funding was for a six month period only and we are pleased with the progress we made, though disappointed not to be able to do more. We will continue to add services as they are developed and we come across them.
I have blogged about this a number of times in the last year, most notably here and here.
The Final Report is now complete and can be viewed here. There is a shorter Executive Summary, which is available here.
Any comments will be gratefully received, as will contact details of additional services. Thank you!
I was privileged to be asked to speak at the DVCN conference, organised by Standing Together, this Tuesday in London, opening up the issue of child to parent violence to an audience very familiar with the issue itself, but not necessarily aware of the range of circumstances in which children and young people might exhibit abusive behaviour, or the types of help available. It felt particularly apt to be talking about the Mapping Project, when an analysis of the findings so far has shown that domestic abuse agencies are the most likely to be offering support programmes to families. Indeed a number of the conference delegates were from agencies offering specialist work, or from parts of the country where work is already established. This represents quite a movement from a previous focus on adult perpetrators, which had the effect of making the issue of violence from children even more invisible. Continue reading